MAE Graduate Student Awarded Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Arezoo Motavalizadeh Ardekani receives $6,000 fellowship from Zonta International

Fourth-year mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate student, Arezoo Motavalizadeh Ardekani, has been awarded an Amelia Earhart Fellowship from Zonta International, a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy.  Ardekani, a student studying in Professor and Department Chair Roger Rangel’s multiphase heat transfer and fluid dynamics laboratory, will receive $6,000 to continue her research in particle interaction and collision processes.  

The fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of Amelia Earhart, famed pilot and Zonta club member, and is granted annually to women pursuing doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences and engineering.

Ardekani’s research focuses on the motion of solid particles in fluids, which plays an important role in sedimentation, crystal growth, filtration, suspension rheology, microfluidic devices, and several other natural and industrial applications.  In order to explain the basic physics of the particles’ interaction and collision processes, Rangel’s laboratory has developed a Distributed-Lagrange-Multiplier-Based computational method for colliding particles in a solid-fluid system. Using this method, the collision between particles is simulated and the effect of particles’ roughness on the rebound velocity is considered. This is an important step toward the fundamental understanding of particle-liquid interaction.

She is also involved with research exploring the theoretical analysis of dilute particulate flow, and Rangel’s group has investigated particles’ interaction in viscoelastic liquids. The flow of fluid with suspended particles, and the motion of these particles in the suspension, has been of great interest in materials development.  The properties of materials produced by suspension are determined by the microstructure developed during the flow of suspension. Synthesis of nano-particulates and structured particle composites for applications in the pharmaceutical and food industries is an important topic, and the distribution of particles is critical to overall material properties. 

Zonta International seeks to improve the legal, political, economic, health, educational, and professional status of women through service and advocacy; work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of executives in business and the professions; promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, implement service programs, and provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations and the world.  Zonta International’s nearly 33,000 members belong to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 67 countries and geographic areas.  For more information about Zonta International, please visit